Moral Low Ground


‘Douche du Jour’: North Carolina Pastor Sean Harris Urges Dads to Beat the Gay Out of Their Sons

As a statewide vote to ban same-sex marriage nears, a North Carolina pastor has gained national notoriety after delivering a sermon in which he urged fathers of boys who act in a girlish manner to “man up” and give them “a good punch.”

The Huffington Post reports that Sean Harris, senior pastor at Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville, delivered an hour-long sermon in support of Amendment 1, a ballot measure that would define marriage as between one man and one woman in the state constitution. It would ban same-sex marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships.

Jeremy Hooper of the blog Good as You posted an audio recording of the sermon, in which Harris advises his congregation to abuse their children if they act in a manner not conforming with what the pastor deems to be gender-appropriate. He says:

“So your little son starts to act a little girlish when he is four years old and instead of squashing that like a cockroach and saying, ‘Man up, son, get that dress off you and get outside and dig a ditch, because that is what boys do,’ you get out the camera and you start taking pictures of Johnny acting like a female and then you upload it to YouTube and everybody laughs about it and the next thing you know, this dude, this kid is acting out childhood fantasies that should have been squashed.

Dads, the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. Man up. Give him a good punch. Ok? You are not going to act like that. You were made by God to be a male and you are going to be a male. And when your daughter starts acting too butch, you reign [sic] her in. And you say, ‘Oh, no, sweetheart. You can play sports. Play them to the glory of God. But sometimes you are going to act like a girl and walk like a girl and talk like a girl and smell like a girl and that means you are going to be beautiful. You are going to be attractive. You are going to dress yourself up.'”

Harris has since backed away from his sermon advice. He told the Fayetteville Observer that he was joking during the sermon and that he “would never ever advocate” child abuse. He did, however, stick by his homophobic statements about gender roles:

“The word of God makes it clear that effeminate behavior is ungodly. I’m not going to compromise on that,” he said.

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